(Black Press Media files)

TransLink to lay off nearly 1,500 workers, cut service further as ridership down 83%

Metro Vancouver transportation authority says its losing $75 million a month due to pandemic

Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority is laying off nearly 1,500 employees as it grapples with an 83 per cent drop in ridership due to COVID-19.

TransLink announced Monday it would temporarily lay off 1,492 people from both the company itself and the Coast Mountain Bus Company and British Columbia Rapid Transit Company. TransLink will also cut senior executive salaries and board remuneration by 10 per cent. The layoffs represent about 18 per cent of the three companies’ work forces, a TransLink spokesperson confirmed.

The moves come as the company said it’s losing $75 million per month as a result of the pandemic.

TransLink is cutting back on all its services, as well as deferring all planned 2020 service expansions and using its cash reserves to sustain current essential service operations till the end of 2020.

The transportation authority said it is working with the province to make sure TransLink can reverse layoffs and return to “near-regular operations” by the time school is scheduled to resume in September.

“This has been an incredibly tough decision and one we do not take lightly,” said CEO Kevin Desmond. “I fully expect those affected will be recalled once TransLink returns to regular operations, which we are now planning for back-to-school in September, if consistent with provincial guidelines.”

READ MORE: TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

READ MORE: TransLink suspending bus fares in response to COVID-19

READ MORE: TransLink asks for emergency funds, cites losses of $75 million per month amid pandemic

Routes cuts, by service:

SkyTrain

Starting on Wednesday, Expo Line capacity will be reduced by 20 per cent during peak hours, and capacity will be cut by 20 to 40 per cent the rest of the time.

Millennium Line capacity will be cut by 15 per cent during peak hours and 20 to 40 per cent the rest of the time.

This is on top of a 17 per cent reduction during peak hours and a 20 per cent reduction on Friday and Saturday evenings, which were brought in last month.

Canada Line capacity has already been reduced by 18 per cent.

Buses

TransLink is suspending 18 bus routes: 15, 32, 50, 68, 105, 131, 132, 143, 222, 480, 414, R3; most of these have other transit alternatives, the company said. The NightBus routes being suspended are the N8, N15, N17, N22, N24, N35.

Another 47 bus routes are expected to be suspended in early May, and frequency is to be reduced on many remaining routes. Expected route suspensions: 251, 252, 262, 280, 281, 282, 370, 563, 564, 044, 170, 181, 182, 231, 241, 247, 258, 345, 352, 354, 391, 393, 394, 395, 416, 509, 602, 603, 604, 606, 608, 614, 616, 617, 618, 619, 719, 722, 733, 741, 744, 748, 749, 791, 042, 150, 179.

TransLink said routes to hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be prioritized.

Physical distancing measures have already reduced the number of people who can fit on TransLink buses to 30 per cent of normal levels. Once the service cuts are brought in, that will drop to 20 per cent.

West Coast Express

Beginning Wednesday, trains one, three and five will continue to operate of existing schedules but with fewer cars. Trains two and four will remain suspended.

SeaBus

Starting Wednesday, SeaBus will end service earlier. The last sailing of the day will leave Lonsdale Quay at 7:30 p.m. and Waterfront at 7:45 a.m. Throughout the day, sailings will continue every 30 minutes.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusTransLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Swoop Airlines. (Contributed)
Daily direct flights between Abbotsford and Toronto start Wednesday

Swoop announces new operations at Toronto Pearson Airport

Google maps screenshot.
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Mission retirement home over

Staff member at Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence tested positive on Oct. 13

The currently-vacant, 24-acre lot on the west side of Silver Creek. The District is hoping to turn this land into an industrial business park. Google Maps screenshot.
Industrial business park being planned for lands around Mission’s Silver Creek

Re-zoning applications for two properties to go forward to public hearing on Nov. 2

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for incumbent Throness uncertain as riding awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read